December 13th, the day Charles Michael Schuldiner died at the age of 34, in 2001.
To me, his story is the most dolorous one amongst the musicians whom I listened so far...
What I am doing now is listening to his songs: the philosopher, spirit crusher, crystal mountains, voice of the soul, mentally blind and trying not to cry for his very early and sad death.
It might be meaningless to re-introduce a real musical legend here but I will give just a brief information about him.

Althought Chuck Schuldiner had never believed in the ramifications in metal music, he is considered as the creator of death metal, especially technical death metal. He was one of the first performers of death growl (brutal vocal). Schuldiner owned 3 bands in his life: Mantas, Death and Control Denied. He really opened the doors of a new understanding in metal music with his distinguishing guitar technique, brutal sound and touching lyrics. In fact, he was a poet:

Time is a thing we must accept.
The unexpected I sometimes fear.
Just when I feel there's no
       excuse for what happens,
                          things fall into place.
I know there is no way to
        avoid the pain that we must
                    go through, to find the other
                                                half that is true.
Destiny is what we all seek.
Destiny was waiting for you
                                         and me.

I believe behind confusion,
                   awaits the truth for us.
Past the obstacles we face.
I value our life and trust.
Years of questioning why
       things happen the way they
                                          do in life.
Wishing that I could turn back
                 time, so we could join our

Gifted, humility, dignity, deep thoughts are the words that connote him to me. His words about himself were "I am a lover of life, friendship and animals" during an interview.

In 1999, Schuldiner consulted a doctor about the constant pain on his neck and he diagnosed with brain cancer. The tumor had been necrotized by radiation theraphy and the rest of the malignant tissues were cleaned by a surgery. Two years later, cancer came back to Chuck and this time he had no money for surgery which was urgent for his case. His insurance company refused to pay for his surgery beacuse this was the second cancer experience of Schuldiner. He started chemotherapy sessions. At the same time, some charity campaingns were organized for him by the heavy metal community in the summer of 2001. However, he had pneumonia because of his weak immune system which was a result of the chemotherapy and passed away, in December 2001. And we cried, cried and cried...

He once said "I would like to live forever, if it was possible" in contrast to his very short but "rich" life.
I wish he would still be making great music for us all.

The Reality

I have been thinking about the conception of life itself since I was at the ages enough of to be considered as an adult. The great questions of the great philosophers: What is life? What are we doing here? Are we going anywhere?
At the exact point where I came so far, I think that we are creating unreal,  mystic shells over the naked real things in life by making up stories comprised of virtual connections between the feelings and the events and the materials in our lives and considering those stories as our personal particular meanings of life. We are always the main characters of those stories. Actually, I am searching the book stores in these days for finding the books, which I can easily understand, about evolutionary psychology. I think the answer is there, in the evolutionary psychology. Something in our evolution motivated our brains to think in this way: Create subjective relations between things. Look, see but don't believe in or realize the sad reality. Imagine the death: We are looking at the dead bodies on and under the ground, watching them becoming into the soil but most of us telling stories about these dead human beings' souls are not dead, the only dead things here are the rotten corpses. The souls are eternal, etc. What is the basis of this belief? We just don't want to feel the cold death. Knowing that one day you will disappear permanently frightens us and our brain starts to create a complex myth to give us hope. And the life goes on...
We are creating those illusions as a protective manner. We locate ourselves in the centre of the universe, consider everything, every animal, plant, planet, galaxy, river, sea, mountain, simply everything is created to serve us. What a selfish approach! And unrealistic. And sick, especially when you open up your eyes and try to see the reality that we are technically not much more different from a bacteria colony. Who says a human has a seperated soul and a body? Who says we will live after death? Who says there will be angels or demons around us in the eternal life after death?
When I am able to see the pure life, as it is, with my eyes wild open and my mind crystal clear, I just relieved. I distinguished that life is unique and short and very very valuable, and we are going to be real deads after our deaths. There is no need for myths. The life need not to be meaninful. No one designed it. The life is life: Chaotic, simple, iterative, evolutionary. Once you realized the truth about the life, that there is no fate and death is not inevitable, you suddenly desire to overcome the death, in my own words, end-of-life disorder. You can feel energetic enough to find scientific ways to beat the death, you don't need to be dead. Some life forms in the universe never die, some of them die but are able to recorver from the death, some are highly regenerative.

(Provided from

However, we are at the very primitive stages of our evolutionary process. The first modern human appeared on earth about 200,000 years ago. We are living and evolving anatomically and mentally for thousands of years but when you look at the calendar we are using, it is just in the year of 2009. What a dramatic gap! 200,000 is our chronological age and 2009 is our mental age. The ratio, "2009/200,000", might be considered as our intellectual maturity index. Maybe, when our calendars show the year of several hundred thousands, we will be living in a world where there is no need to make up unrealistic stories about our lives. At those maturity levels of humanity, people would live in peace with the pure reality itself.
I wish I was born 10 thousand years later.
Amen :)

A Tiny Miny Picture

This photograph was taken by using my cell phone which has just 1.3 megapixels of resolution rate. Besides, I had to be quick enough to take this photograph without disturbing the ones I was shooting. Therefore, this picture has minimal quality with maximal definition of life itself.
One life, live it!

The Bra Dilemma

The bra, formally brassiere... Today, I just want to dig the subject of this popular underwear a bit. As far as I know, women have been using breast supporting garments since 1500 BC. The modern bra is the evolved form of restless corsets and became an industrial product around the year of 1930. You can examine the basic parts of an abstract bra in the image below:
According to my experiences, a small tie shaped silk band located between the cups is an essential part of a modern bra as well :) I don't know why it is omitted in the above image...

Anyway, my observations about the women's demands from a bra are
  1. Women want a bra to support their breasts and they want to achieve a sexy and healthy bosom posture.
  2. Women want a bra to protect their breasts and nipples from aggressive glances.
  3. Women don't want a bra to be realized as an underwear. They want bras to be hidden.

Three observations in contradiction. Number one stresses that women want their breasts to attract attention, they want them to seem well and be realized by others. Number two highlights the women's feeling of hiding their breasts from the outside world. So in here, we can consider the bra as the armour of the breasts. And number three says that women want to appear in a natural way, they do not want to reveal the fact that they are supporting and protecting their breasts by using an artificial thing.

What is this? Too complex to understand... Too complex to live with...

I tnink that this unnatural complexity is the fault of the men dominated social life. Naturally, women never want to hide their breasts under some uncomfortable garments which presses over and make them sweat and scratch their delicate skin all day. But they want to be in the ideal feminine shape defined by the men's desire. As James Brown said, "it is a man's man's man's world"... Moreover, they want to feel secure against the men's gaze and disturbance that annoys women very often in daily life. So the market produced a product that supplies those complex and meaningless demands: The bra. And its contradictions. The following advertisement is a good example of the absurdity that forces the bras exist:

Some social movements exist under the brand of topfreedom and I hope they broaden fast. Topfree Equal Rights Association (TERA) and Bara Bröst (Bare Breast in Swedish) are good and most popular ones in action.

I know that I sound too feminist as a man. However, I believe that humanity needs to simpilfy the over complex, traditional and dogmatic issues of life to step forward in civilization. We don't need to undergo those dark and vague spots which choke open minded human beings. I consider those spots as tumors of the social system.

The life is unique and we have to glorify the life itself and ourselves. Let's open our eyes and see the naked truth. Are we that brave?

Engineering versus Aesthetics?

A couple of weeks ago, I was a participant of a discussion, which was about "aesthetics in software". I must confess that -as a programmer- motivating myself as if I am producing an art work while I am programming computers is a good way of self satisfaction. It makes you feel elite, you might consider yourself as Michelangelo Buonarroti sculpting the David :)
At this exact point, my friends, I am inviting you to bad-sad reality. The reality says that Michelangelo examined hundreds of cadavers for mastering on the anatomy which is essential for coming up with the real aesthetic values like David, Moses or Pietà. You've got to know the veins, muscles, bones and connective tissues well for being able to create realistic aesthetic art-works. It is necessary to know those fundemantals even if you are willingly to create surreal works of art, because you need to decompose the parts first and then, compose them in your own way again which you cannot do if you know nothing about the rules of connections between the original parts. We have to accept the truth that all those bloody anatomic parts and the idea of cutting the dead bodies in detail do not sound well and it might be hard to relate them with fine arts in the first stage. But this feeling of us does not change the reality...

When it comes to software, we cannot refuse that it is likely to find factors of easthetics in software products. Where are those factors coming from? My immediate answer to this question is Mathematics. Software itself is an implementation of a mathematical approach and we know that mathematical approaches may sometimes be very aesthetic. Besides, a software product might still be beautiful even its mathematical origin is very plain. At this time, the source of the beauty in software is well engineered design. Actually, I believe and have been experiencing that when you engineer the software well, you usually end up with a beautiful product. I recommend the book named Beautiful Code for having the chance to examine some examples of really beautiful software. My rule of thumb about the software development life cycle is "engineer well first to obtain the beauty". It is the easier way of achieving the beauty in software because the other way dictates that you have to develop a very innovative and smart mathematics like Alan Turing, Pythagoras, Carl Friedrich Gauss and Blaise Pascal did in the past and it sounds impossible for ordinary software developers like most of us. Moreover, aesthetics is a branch of academic philosophy and is not an easy to understand and objective issue. If you are not a philosopher or an artist, you cannot deal with it easily. Plus, coding a computer program is more likely to legislation process than painting, making music or sculpting. We never call laws and acts aesthetic, but they might be compact, universal, efficient, logical, well designed etc. By chance (!) we use the same adjectives for software as well.

My advice to software engineers is: "You are software engineers, not software artist". It is written "Bachelors/Masters of science/engineering" on our diploms not "Bachelors of arts". As the real engineers, simply do your duty in the way you have been thaught at the college. The rest is just a sweet dream.

Things to keep in mind shortly about designing software:
  1. Coupling: The level of interdependence among modules. You have to make the module interfaces clear and simple. Low degree of coupling is better.
  2. Cohesion: The internal strenght of a module. The module whose internal parts are strongly related to each other and to the purpose of the module is strongly cohesive. High level of cohesion is better.
  3. Size and Complexity: There are many software metrics like cyclomatic complexity, Halstead volume, maintenance index, time and space complexity (big-O notation), line of code, function point analysis etc. You have got to know how to use, manage and optimize those metrics.
  4. Fan out: Number of subordinates immediately called by a module.
  5. Fan in: Number of modules that invoke (call) a module.
  6. Scope of effect (SoE) and Scope of control (SoC): SoE is the collection of modules that contain code dependent to a decision. If a decision called D located in module M affects the execution of 3 modules: M1, M2, M3 then SoE(M) = {M1, M2, M3}. SoC of a module is the collection of subordinates of the module and the module itself. Te rule is: For module M, SoE(M) must be a subset of SoC(M).
After those design issues, there are, of course, many more issues to consider about the quality of the software such as: Usability, Reliability, Portability, Maintainability, Functionality and Efficiency.
Actually we, the professionals of the industry, are not working for finding the beauty but the ways of reducing the total cost of owning a software. That's why we are called engineers. Besides, we can satisfy our artistic appetite by learning the correlation between "the good design" and "the beauty".

Rules of Ruling

I am reading the book "King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership" by Arnold M. Ludwig who tries to define the characteristics of political leaders by analyzing the biographies of 377 rulers of the last century, in detail.

When this book was published in 2004, it was on the newspapers in Turkey, because Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was defined as the most qualified political leader amongst the others by Ludwig. Yes, it was a populist tendency to bring this book on the papers at that time just because of the book points Atatürk as number one. Besides, the book itself is a really good one. The most impressive side of the Ludwig's approach to political leadership is that he compares the leadership properties of human beings and apes in the book, and to be honest, we humans are very likely to our relatives in the jungles when it comes to governing the society. As far as I know, this book is the first scientific attempt to categorize the leaders of different countries according to some set of very objective attributes of leadership. Beyond this, the method of the human societies and the ape colonies comparison in leading makes the book unique, already.

What I am trying to do here is not writing a review to this book. In fact, I will write down the major findings of Arnold M. Ludwig about world leaders and leave the rest of the book to your interest. Here are the brief items in Ludwig's words: (Pages 2-4 in the book)

  • All nations have rulers.
  • Essentially all the rulers of all the nations in the world during the last century have been men.
  • In many societies throughout the world, male rulers have a decided breeding advantage over other men, not only in their access to women but in the size of the harems and the number of mistresses they keep.
  • No identifiable form of intelligence, talent, genius or even experience seems necessary for ruling a country.
  • Leaders need not be sane, rational, or even mentally competent to rule a country.
  • Although intellectual or academic credentials seem irrelevant for ruling, one of the time-honored ways individuals establish their qualifications for leadership is by showing physical prowess and courage in battle.
  • Many leaders who come to power forcibly do not seem to learn from the mistakes of the past rulers.
  • In many instances, would-be rulers risk their lives to gain ultimate power and, once they have it, risk their lives to keep it.
  • Throughout the history, rulers who attain legendary status often tend to be those who have conquered other nations, won major wars, expanded their country's boundaries, founded new nations, forcibly transformed their societies, and imposed their own beliefs on their subjects.

No women among the rulers! I cannot believe the submission that women have. If I were a woman, I am sure that I would be very angry and unhappy. Anyway, this might be another topic in the blog :)

The Virus

Do you think that we, human beings, are the most dominant species on the Earth?
I really don't think so. I believe that microscopic life forms, especially the viral ones are the most powerful species around the world.
National Center for Health Statistics announced the top 10 causes of death in United States by 2006 as:
According to the some articles in the book, Next Fifty Years, by John Brockman, different sorts of long running viral infections cause most of the cancer types, and some diseases of those we know no proven cause yet, like Alzheimer, MS etc.
Therefore, I hate those God damn micro life forms. They're killing us cruelly since the beginning of time and we cannot fight against them in a sufficient way. Remember tuberculosis, black death, AIDS, SARS, ebola, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), fatal influenza forms appearing annually in the recent years. What are we doing about them? We have beaten the historic forms of some viruses but we are very vulnerable to the evolved viral forms.
Come on doctors, work harder! Save us!
Nowadays, beautiful Charlize Theron is striving to beat the viral infection in her stomach. As far as I know, she spent 4-5 days in the intensive care unit of Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles.
I am trying the understand the game of evolution... [Possibly, homo sapiens can be considered as the viruses of the universe, if we look at the scene from an objective macro perspective. But I don't want to sheer this way now...] What is the aim of this kind of a natural selection? One ugly ribonucleic acid chain (RNA) covered by a protein shell is trying to conquer one of the most beautiful organisms of the world: Charlize Theron.
It is insane! Really unfair.
Pray for Ms. Theron, my friends, we are not ready to lose her yet!
Get up girl! Get up and smile us again.

Decision Tree

Today, I am going to mention about creating a decision tree from a data table. Actually, for this simple operation, a lot of professionals pay huge amounts of money to the other professionals, let's say external data mining consultants, for having them give a meaning to their own enterprise data.
Here is the operation:
Firstly, we are going to analyze our columns (attributes) comprise the data table. The point of the analysis is to determine the classification attribute and the attributes which bring the highest level of information in their values. The attributes carrying the highest level of information are going to be our decision nodes in the tree.
Sample data table is below (fig. 1). The table is about passing a course at a college. The pink column, term result, is the classification attribute and available classes are "passed" and "failed". We are trying to reveal the effect of "self studying", "team work", "relations with the lecturer" and "the course attendance" to passing the course.

Figure 1.

There are some key points of the attrbute analysis. The value of an attribute regarding to the corresponding classification target is called Information Gain. The equation of information gain is as follows:

Equation 1.

Where P() denotes the probability and k stands for the label of the distinct values of an attribute. To make this clear, please check the example below:

Figure 2.

Figure 2 shows the sorted values and their corresponding classes of the attribute "course attendance". And it is a subset of fig. 1. The P(k) in equation 1 will take the values P(Bad), P(Good), P(Moderate) and P(None). The value of P(Bad) is 0.3 beacuse there are 3 out of 10 tuples labeled as Bad in fig. 2. Similarly the value of P(None) will be 0.1 (1/10).

The term Gini in equation 1 is the measure of impurity. And it is applied to the attributes of our table. Some attributes might be homogeneous which means that all the values of this attribute map the same class. In contrary, some attributes, like "course attendance" in fig. 2, have different values addressing the different classes and we call those attributes heterogenous or impure. There are different measures of impurity like classification error, entropy and Gini index. I am giving the equations of all but will be using the Gini in this text for measuring the impurity.

In the equations above P(k) is the probability of the class mapped by the values of the attribute. We can look back to figure 2 for understanding it. Examine the rows containing the "moderate" course attendance which are given in figure 3, below.

Figure 3.

The P(k) in the equation of Gini index will be P(Failed) = 1/3 and P(Passed)=2/3. And the Gini index for course attendance attribute will be 1-[(1/3)^2+(2/3)^2] = 0.44 where ^2 denotes the power of 2, in other words square operator.

As you can see, we will compute the impurity for each distinct value of every attribute, firstly. Secondly, we will calculate the information gain by every attribute by using their impurity degrees. Third, we will compare the information gain of the attributes and pick the one with the highest information gain level as the decision node of our tree. It will be end of a node description cycle. The similar cycles may follow in a recursive manner if further splits in the tree needed.

Let's start the procedure... The Gini of our initial table will be calculated by using our classification column, term result. There are 5 Failed and 5 Passed classes in the table. So



Gini(Parent) = 1-[0.5^2+0.5^2] = 1 - 0.5 = 0.5

According to that parent Gini value, the below figure shows the evaluation of our attributes regarding to their information gain.

Figure 4.

The winner is course attendance with the gain of 0.23. So our decision tree has a root and some leaves now. The very first form of the tree is given below (Fig. 5).

Figure 5

Now, cycle 1 ended and initial table in fig. 1 became shorter as given in fig. 6 below. We filtered the rows by giving the condition of Course Attendance in Good and Moderate. We have to split the nodes for those values.

Figure 6.

We will use the first 3 rows of data while we are running the second decision node description cycle. So that, in this cycle those 3 rows will become our parent table. Gini(Good) and Gini(Moderate) values have been calculated in cycle 1 and can be examined in fig. 4. Gini(Good) will be our Gini(Parent) in cycle 2. In this stage, course attendance will no longer be evaluated as a node candidate, we will focus on the other 3 columns: Self studied, team work and relations with lecturer. Next figure (Fig. 7) shows the information gain values of those attributes for the first 3 columns of the table in fig. 6.

Figure 7.

We have 2 attributes with the info gain of 0.44 (team work and self studied) so we can chose any of them as our second decision node in the tree. My choice will be team work. After cycle 2, the tree becomes as follows.

Figure 8.

It is time for cycle 3, where the situation with the moderate course attendants will be defined. We will use the second 3 rows of the table in figure 6, Gini(Parent) will be 0.44 and our candidate attributes will be self studied, team work and relations with lecturer. Let us see calculation in figure 9:

Figure 9.

Winner of cycle 3 is the attribute self studied with 0.44 of information gain. Finally, the decision tree is fully constructed. Here you are.

Figure 10.

According to the decision tree, relations with lecturer has no effect on passing this course.

As you can see, a software specialist can easily write a program for creating a decision tree by using a data set. No need to pay extra for this :)

Formally, subject of the decision trees is a vein of classification of predictive data mining which is a branch of machine learning.

God bless mathematics ;)

Envy-Free Cake Division 2

In my previous post, I discussed the mathematics of fair division and I introduced the Selfridge & Conway's algorithm.
While we are talking about the deterministic rules working for setting up controlled decision environments, everything might seem very clear and understandable so that we all might be persuaded about the conditions of the environment and motivations of the rules which are to solve the problems across the environment.


Real life is much more vaguer than the well defined solution environments and because of this, most of the solutions devised can't satisfy the stakeholders of the problem domain. For instance, if I were the party A in the Selfridge-Conway procedure, I could have still been envying to a piece other than mine by arguing that "Why am I chosen for cutting the cake first? If cannot cut the cake in 3 equal pieces, it will be a disadvantage for me! I'd like to be the first picker!" And nobody can criticise me becuse of my opinion about the procedure.

One can say that, "Okay, you have to agree on the pillars of the procedure firstly!".
Yes, it is a good starting point. And a powerful statement that ties me up about obeying the rules. However, even if I agreed the rules of the procedure, after the procedure ends, I might still be unhappy with my piece and crying about it. It is possible!

Then, would it be my psychological problem or would it be the truth that such problems are unsolvable if you are dealing with human beings and their feeling of justice and satisfaction? Is there a way for highly intellectual people to share things without using brute force? In personal interactions, human beings had come a significant way when it comes to solve the problems in a civilized way. On the other hand, in international relations brute force is being used vastly between parties.

I believe that we are standing just besides a threshold!
After a revolutionary step, which has been led by "pure" science, over this threshold, the big question marks in our minds will disappear very fast. And we all are going to take our most relieved breath! ...before finding us new and bigger question marks :))

Think of this!

Envy-Free Cake Division

During my military service in Ankara, in one of the lectures at the military academy, a commander was talking about how to command the team in a fair manner. And he asked "How do you think 2 guys share a cake without envying to each other's piece?" Our answers involved the use of measurement tools but the commander gave the prerequisite that they cannot use any measurement tools, but the knife, hands and eyes. Then, the answer was very clever: "I cut, you choose" procedure works pretty fine for two guys. The first one cuts the cake into 2 equal pieces according to his perception of equity. And the second guy chooses the piece to pick for himself. No one envies.

When you are dealing with such a problem, and when you are a young engineer, your brain generates subsequent problems immediately: What if there are 3 guys to share the cake? I was not able to google this under those circumstances so I and a couple of my "brother-in-arms" discussed the problem and offered some premature solutions. Most successful one was reducing the problem t0 2 guys model after 1 arbitrary guy cuts the cake into 3 pieces. Procedure was like this for players A, B, C:
  1. One of the guys, let's say A, cuts the cake into 3 pieces
  2. B chooses one of the pieces
  3. C chooses one of the pieces
  4. A picks the last piece on the table
  5. A-C, A-B, C-B pairs try to agree that all the pieces are equal. If they cannot agree, they use the "I cut, you choose" procedure for their pieces.
For example, after step 4, A checks the piece which belongs to B and if he envies B's piece, B cuts his piece into two and A picks one of the pieces and then, A cuts his piece into two and B picks one of the A's pieces and at the end they end up with an envy-free division. As a conclusion, A and B have 4 smaller pieces. After that, player C may want to do "I cut, you choose" with B and this operation results in C and B having 6 pieces. And the round goes...

The problem with this approach was this procedure tends to last forever because after A-B, B-C, A-C agreements, B might envy C's pieces and they start sharing again, the second tour... Perhaps, in practice it never goes too far but the procedure must be able to halt in a meaningful fashion.

After all the discussions, I have not focused on the problem for about 4 years.

Then suddenly the problem grabbed me again. But this time, I googled :)) And of course, I found all the literature about envy-free cake division problem. There are more than 6 algorithms designed. To me, two of them are very good: The first one was announced by Selfridge & Conway in 1960s. The latter is called "moving knives" and devised by Stromquist. I will explain the first one here.

The problem: Parties A, B and C want to share the cake fairly. They will use just a knife.

Figure 1. Selfridge & Conway stage 1.

The procedure comprises 2 stages. In stage 1,
  • Party A cuts the cake into 3 pieces regarding just his feelings of equity (step II in fig. 1).
  • Party B controls the pieces, if he thinks that at least two of the pieces are good for choosing (means those two are equal), he does nothing.
  • Party C picks a piece.
  • Party B picks a piece.
  • Party A picks the remaining piece.

Everything is perfect. However, if party B thinks that one piece is quite bigger than the other ones, in the second bullet above, he takes the knife and trims the biggest piece in order to produce at least 2 tied pieces. (See the III in fig. 1) Then, no one can pick the "trm" bit in the stage 1. And procedure goes:

  • Party C chooses a piece.
  • If party C did not choose the trimmed piece (piece number 3 in fig. 1), party B has to pick trimmed piece.
  • Party A picks the remaining one.

Stage 1 is done. No one envies the other. Now, it is time to divide the "trm" bit.

Figure 2. Selfridge & Conway stage 2.

  • Among B and C, the party who did not pick the trimmed piece in stage 1 cuts the trm bit into 3 by his knife.
  • If the party who cuts the trimming into 3 is B, then the parties pick the pieces (t1, t2, t3 in fig. 2) in C, A, B order. If the party that cuts the trm bit is C then the picking order is B, A, C.

Stage 2 ends. It is an envy-free division process. We're all done with this.

The problem, of course, goes too far by considering n parties to share the cake :)) but let us leave the rest of the story to the mathematicians.

Rest in Peace Sweet Child

To me, you came to the scene as a sweet curly kid and have past away the same.
Not a king whose life is too complicated and costumes are too cocky and mysterious.
Just come pure, sung pure and gone pure.
Goodbye sweet child...
The world has been loving you and now, just crying for you.

The Watchtower

When the electricity along your nerves reaches a certain point that you cannot bear any more, you need something to neutralize it, my friends.
Touching the soil may work, jumping the water may work, jumping into the bottle may work and finally, Hendrix definitely works.
Yes he does.
His genius on interpreting the vibrations of the universe is very clear so that any person who has a degree can easily see. I like the performers who are showing everything they got during the action. Loosing the control and letting the energy free.

A very mysterious song, originally created by "great" Bob Dylan after a serious motorbike accident was transformed into another thing, that even the creator appreciated the transformer.
Who did it?
Jimi Hendrix, in a couple of days.
The name of the song was "all along the watchtower".
Maybe the definition of the art is "the performance of decomposition of the nature and then re-composing it in your own way". Then, every one respects the thing you come up with.

Here is the lyrics. Don't forget to listen to the song while you're reading it :)

there must be some kind of way out of here,
said the joker to the thief,
there's too much confusion,
i can't get no relief.
businessmen, they
drink my wine,
dig my earth,
none of them along the line
know what any of it is worth.


no reason to get excited,
the thief, he kindly spoke,
there are many here among us
who feel that life is but a joke.
but you and i, we've been through that,
and this is not our fate,
so let us not talk
falsely now,
the hour is getting late.

[supreme solo]

all along the watchtower,
princes kept the view
while all the women came and went,
barefoot servants, too.

outside in the cold distance
a wildcat did growl,
two riders were approaching,
and the wind began to howl.

All along the watchtower...

The Metaphor

Almost the best metaphor I have ever read is the one in the book Mahrem by Elif Şafak. This book has been translated into English by Brendan Freely and the English name of the book is "The Gaze". I'd like to share the words by quoting. But... I am not sure if I could translate the sentences into English well. First, I am giving the original Turkish ones:

"Yokuşun ikinci kısmının son adımında dönüp de geriye bakanlar, denizi görebilirdi. Mavi, masmaviydi deniz; rehindi duru durgunluğunda. Bazı kadınlar, bazı bazı, delice bir fikre kapılırdı. Deniz, birikmiş sütünü akıtacak ağız arayan bir meme ucu gibi pütür pütür kabarır, sızım sızım sızlar, usul usul çağırırdı uzaktan. Şimdi... ne geçmişe kederlenmek, ne geleceğe didinmek; sanki... sadece ve sadece gözler-kapalı-ağız-açık kendini salarak, şu anı kana kana emmekle mümkün olabilecekti zamana doyabilmek." Page 35-36

The sea and the nipple/areola metaphor... This lady rules the language. And my translation for the paragraph above:

"On the last step of the hill's second part, the ones who stop a while and look back could see the sea. The sea was blue, deep blue; pledged by its pure quiescent. Some women, sometimes, cherish an illusion. The sea uprises so rough, like a saturated nipple seeking for an opening to pour its milk, aches so deeply, calls so quietly. Now... not to deplore for the past, not to fag for the future; as if... it would be possible to get enough of time merely by releasing yourself and sucking the current moment deeply with eyes-shut-open-mouthed."

I hope I could have carried the original taste of Elif Şafak's style to English. Read "The Gaze" for the official literary pleasure ;)

I Wanna Stay, OK?

I just am going to share a very strong poem by Bukowski. But before that...
You know what? I don't wanna die, OK?
Yeah! Most of the times, life seems too odd and maybe most of us feel despair about it.
I wanna stay here for a long long time with my daughter and wife and everything that makes me feel in comfort. I wanna watch the sundown above the sea while I am drinking my cold big size beer and having some peanuts in warm feelings. When I look left, I'd like to see my love and when I look right, I wanna see my life. That's it!
Death is a silly process. I invite all the medical doctors and biologists to find a way to heal the end-of-life disorder.
I am here!

And the poem by the great American poet:

born like this
into this
as the chalk faces smile
as Mrs. Death laughs
as the elevators break
as political landscapes dissolve
as the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
as the oily fish spit out their oily prey
as the sun is masked

we are
born like this
into this
into these carefully mad wars
into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
into bars where people no longer speak to each other
into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings

born into this
into hospitals which are so expensive that it's cheaper to die
into lawyers who charge so much it's cheaper to plead guilty
into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes

born into this
walking and living through this
dying because of this
muted because of this
because of this
fooled by this
used by this
pissed on by this
made crazy and sick by this
made violent
made inhuman
by this
the heart is blackened
the fingers reach for the throat
the gun
the knife
the bomb
the fingers reach toward an unresponsive god
the fingers reach for the bottle
the pill
the powder

we are born into this sorrowful deadliness
we are born into a government 60 years in debt
that soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt
and the banks will burn
money will be useless
there will be open and unpunished murder in the streets
it will be guns and roving mobs
land will be useless
food will become a diminishing return
nuclear power will be taken over by the many
explosions will continually shake the earth
radiated robot men will stalk each other
the rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms
Dante's Inferno will be made to look like a children's playground
the sun will not be seen and it will always be night
trees will die
all vegetation will die
radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men
the sea will be poisoned
the lakes and rivers will vanish
rain will be the new gold
the rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind
the last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases
and the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition
the petering out of supplies
the natural effect of general decay
and there will be the most beautiful silence never heard
born out of that
the sun still hidden there
awaiting the next chapter

-Charles Bukowski, from The Last Night of the Earth Poems, 1992

Transformation Needed

Bruce Lee was one of the great persons whom I admire. The feeling in me, while I am travelling in the veins of the varying sizes of the life itself, is that I am being stuck and cannot flow forward any more for some reason. I can sense that something must be changing dramatically in time. A kind of revolution, maybe... That will be the one that looses the veins again and lets the blood free and releases the life. Yes my friends. I want this revolution. I need this.
Look around... The old fashioned everything is about to stop. The education cannot make the mass intellectuals, the industry is killing the natural environment, the medical science of centuries is not able to beat tiny miny viral life forms, the economy, hence the mathematics, of this form is becoming useless, so called information is some signal on the cable, chaos is everywhere... Formal patterns are dead. Classics are not sufficient.
And suddenly when we look back to early 1970s a man was saying "Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend"
I know, we need a great revolution after which we can calculate the fuzzy parameters, solve the chaotic equations and the new form of everything will be "unknown" and unique motto of every philosophical school will be written to the books "be water my friend".
Lee was knowing this. Turing and Gödel were knowing this.

The System We are in

Inter-related units which are working for a common purpose is called "a system" as defined in most of the books. According to this definition we need to point out the common purposes of our "very well designed" social system. I am looking around and cannot write down 3 common things for the society I am in.
Nowadays, I am reading a book: Liberty and the State, by Charles Kershaw Rowley. To be honest, it is not an introductory text for non-sociologists like me, but I am trying to understand the articles collected in the book by using my mathematics background. In this book, I am actually in the middle of it-not finished yet-and my reading speeed is about 5 pages/hour, it is very surprising for me to see the reality that as a free person it is not that easy to carry on your freedom in a society. I can hear the voices "Hey stupid! You don't need to be a sociologist for knowing that!" :) However, all I am trying to do is to understand the system, that affects "my being" most powerfully, in a scientific context. It is easy to utter the words of wisdom about life and society by using merely our personal experiences, in our daily life. But it is nothing! The only way to learn things and persuade the others is to listen and speak the language of the science in which the rules are very clear and simple.
In contrast, we are not actually reading that boring (!) stuff written by the snobs and following the myths and shaping our lives by the rules that look fuzzy, at least, for most of the intelligent ones it is easy to conceive the logical blanks, those become big question marks in time.
On the other hand, for an educated person it is not that easy to search all the scientific literature and learn all about social systems and design her/his life according to the things that learnt. There's no time! Life is short. So what will we do? Easiest answer might be the word "education". Use the education as a system for teaching the cumulative common information about life. And a subsequent question comes: "Who designs the educational system?". Yeah! A problem of trust to the authority that shapes our lives and we go back to the beginnig: How can I learn all the objective and true acquirements about social systems in a timely and practial way to dignify my life? Maybe a "supernatural" could summarize everything for us in a book. Maybe...
Or maybe a new technology would change the way we learn or the form of the information around and it becomes feasible to access and understand any information, any time. Maybe...
Maybe I should not insist on being so "definite free" in my life and let the life pass as it knows...
Or I could transform my understanding of freedom into a less free form...
Okay, okay. This is my first post and I might be going too far for a blog entry... I promise you that I will post more enjoyable things in time ;)